News Releases

UWI Ventures and CARIRI Sign MOU

For Release Upon Receipt - March 26, 2021

St. Augustine

The UWI Ventures Limited, a spinoff company of The University of the West Indies (UWI), and the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to actively collaborate in several areas, including professional education; research and development, innovation and entrepreneurship development; training and branding. The signing took place at the Office of the Campus Principal on Monday, March 1, 2021.

UWI Ventures Limited and CARIRI share the common objective of fostering innovation and entrepreneurship as a mechanism of enhancing wealth creation, employment generation, and accelerated value creation in the I&E ecosystem. Both institutions have focussed attention and efforts on the areas of innovation facilitation and entrepreneurship with the likeminded goal of the economic diversification of Trinidad and Tobago. Mr. Gerry Brooks, Professor of Practice at The UWI and Executive Chairman of UWI Ventures Limited, pointed to several nationally significant and investment worthy innovation projects currently being developed at The UWI that UWI Ventures and CARIRI can collaboratively develop into globally competitive enterprise. These include innovations in chemical engineering, ICT, high-value agriculture, medicine and music.

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Brian Copeland emphasized that The UWI’s commitment to the positive transformation of the Caribbean has been a constant theme and mission for more than 70 years.

“Twenty-first Century needs and trends”, he said, “require that The UWI prepare students differently; that we work even more diligently with Industry for greater efficiency, effectiveness, and growth. To that end, the St. Augustine Campus developed an innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, a strongly interconnected and well-coordinated network of functional units that creates an effective pipeline to transform ideation to product.  This ecosystem is meant to promote and sustain economic innovation and is an ideal complement to our traditional academic, research, and outreach activity.” 

UWI Ventures has a separate and independent governance structure to The UWI, given the need for agility and flexibility as a commercial sector entity. UWI Ventures collaborates and works closely with The UWI, through its Entrepreneurship Unit and the St. Augustine Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (StACIE), to provide comprehensive and integrated support for selected start-ups, including grant funding, IP protection, and a full suite of entrepreneurship services including but not limited to business planning, coaching, mentorship and commercialisation of innovative entrepreneurial opportunities. UWI Ventures is also designed as a holding company for UWI spin-offs and start-ups.

CARIRI’s Executive Manager, Corporate Services Meghnath Gosein, expressed their delight at this partnership which will “purposefully drive the innovation and digital transformation so critical to the future of Trinidad and Tobago and so necessary for the sustainable development of the Caribbean”. He also spoke at length about CARIRI’s innovation and entrepreneurship programme initiatives that, together with the UWI and the UWI Ventures, will enable a national innovation and entrepreneurship hub for advancing new and relevant technologies in line with the country’s economic development aspirations.




About The UWI

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region.

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Open Campus, and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world.

Ranked among the top universities in the world, by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher EducationThe UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists. In 2020, it earned ‘Triple 1st’ rankings—topping the Caribbean; and in the top in the tables for Latin America and the Caribbean, and global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the top universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action.



"As a leading provider of technical and technology-based support services, CARIRI is dedicated to the industrial and economic development of the region, focusing attention on Innovation Facilitation and Entrepreneurship development. CARIRI’s Idea Advisory Service provides the opportunity to all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago to get assistance in the development of their idea from conception to commercialization. CARIRI recognized that many great ideas were not commercialized because of a disconnect between the idea, what the market wants, and how the market evaluates the product or service.  The Idea Advisory Service aims to close this gap by working with innovators to take their ideas to market." 

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(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)